Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,804 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,804 | Ratings: 6,658
Photo of Mehinaman
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was better than I had expected it to be. Truly excellent chocolate stout. Just like I like chocolate stouts in the regard that the chocolate flat comes through very clearly, but overall it's not too sweet. My wife brought this back on a recent trip from New York and I am very happy she did so

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Photo of F22Chris
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Got a 12oz bottle aged for 3 years from a family member who's friend works for Brooklyn. Needless to say it was a few above the 10.6 ABV rating. Into a tulip, very dark like motor oil, gave a 1/8in dark tan head that quickly dissipated with little to no lacing. Aroma: chocolate, coffee, burnt notes, molasses. Mouth feel was very smooth, very thick but still very drinkable. Tasted of dark chocolate, caramel, little char, the alcohol is noticeable at the finish. Overall I quite enjoyed this brew. I'm going to try it again not aged to see how it compares.

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Photo of melloashello
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It blows me away that a beer can taste so chocolaty without using any actual chocolate!

An aroma of roasted grains, powerful coffee. The coffee and chocolate blend really well together. I knew this was going to be a great beer from just smelling it. So many imperial stouts try to do this and some succeed and some ultimately fail.

Taste of coffee, CHOCOLATE, chocolate, and more chocolate. Barely any hops noticeable. Just a really smokey beverage.

The beverage is chewy but very smooth. The only thing that threw me off was after the first sip, it felt weird swallowing and most likely, that was due to my own fault of something I had to drink or eat earlier on. Either way, just a good brew.

Black, chocolate, coffee, smoke, goodness.

Drink up.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A beautiful dark brownish black color with a great looking white foamy head. Looks so appetizing right from the pour

Smell - Definitely smell some delicious dark chocolate on the nose with also some back ground coffee or espresso notes, makes you desire the first sip.

Taste- Slight chocolate tones with strong coffee and burnt malts, almost a nut or almond flavor as you are hit with the delicious burnt malts. A fabulous smooth taste.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth yet full bodied feel in your mouth, definitely enjoyable

Drinkability- Shockingly drinkable and delicious considering the high alcohol that is extremely well hidden. So drinkable I would say that its dangerous cuz you'll be passed out before you know it.

One of my favorite seasonal stouts and a fine chocolate stout as well. Brooklyn does not disappoint with this walloping of 10.2 percent alcohol which tastes so good you would like to keep drinking more then you should. This is one I am going to save some for the rest of the year and age some as well. A seasonal to look forward to. If you have yet to try it go get them now while you can still find em.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I felt liek a king drinking this out of snifter.

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy froth. Was beautiful

smell: loaded hops, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Very Dry, not sweet at all.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: probably one of the best stouts I have ever had.

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Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From bottle just few months old... That's very important to notice, because this beer is famous for it's aging potential and changing it's qualities from coffee and chocolate to dried dark fruits.
Very dark brown with dark red hue. Smell and taste of coffee and dark chocolate, but it had already developed some prunes and raisins qualities. Full body. Syrupy, malty and sweet, but roasted/piney bitterness is still there.
I love this beer. I might have tried better imperial stouts, but all of them were barrel-aged, so that doesn't count. By the aspectis of dried fruits it's very close to one of the most intriguining baltic porters I've tried, Porter Łódzki, but not so sweet and sticky.
Have some botlles of different ages of it in my cellar waiting for tasting next winter.

Just opened the one that's already a year old and it's deliciously complex and with much more aspects of dried fruits.

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Photo of AltBock
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle that was vintage winter of '04-'05. Although a year old, this beer ages well.

Appearance: Poured a thick black color that reminded me of motor oil. It was so thick you couldn't see through the beer. The head on it was about an inch thick and tan in color. A small amount of foam lasted the entire duration of drinking pleasure.

Smell: A pleasant aroma of sweet caramel, roasted coffee beans, that was all wrapped around in an roasted dark chocolate background. A nice treat!

Taste: Let's just say that they're telling the truth on the label. The tastes in this were dark roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, sweet caramel, and of course, dark chocolate. After being overwhelmed with these fine flavors, there was a pleasant bitter chocolate aftertaste. Another nice treat!

Mouthfeel: A big, powerful, full bodied beer that didn't bother to hide that 8.5% alcohol content. Although full-bodied, this beer goes down nice and smooth.

Drinkability: An excellent beer at an afforable price. I got a six-pack of vintage Black Chocolate Stout for only $7.99. Due to the thickness of this beer, it's good once in a while, not really an everyday drink. If you see this beer, GET IT! You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of dapheet
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice. Currently drinking stouts. Decided to revisit this one. High alcohol so watch out. Taste awesome. 4.5 stars. A must taste. This one went down quickly. Gonna go in the fridge now and grab a "Thunderstruck" from Highlands brewery, right up the road in Asheville.

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Photo of AnotherImperial
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In my opinion, this is as good as it gets for a "standard" RIS. The chocolate flavor is excellent and very prevalent. I also think this is the best value beer on the market - delicious, 10% ABV in 12 ounce bottles, extremely well-priced and easily obtainable.

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Photo of pat61
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The nose is cocoa, chocolate with faint espresso but not a lot of roast. Pours very dark brown to black under a vigorous, finely bubbled, persistent, lacy light tan cap. The palate has chocolate flavors from the malts blending with the added chocolate flavors over a variety of grain flavors and hints of caramel. It finishes with lingering bittersweet chocolate flavors. Very well balanced. The texture is very creamy, close to a nitro beer and is very full bodied to chewy. The carbonation is very fine and soft.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this as part of the Blind Beer BIF, it is a 03-04 vintage courtesy of Prufrock. Poured into Brandy Snifter

I've never had a problem creating head before but this one pours without a single bubble appearing on the surface. My jaw drops as I think this is a beer with no carbonation, but giving it two seconds a rush of half a finger of foam rushes to my rescue. The color of this head is not the crisp wedding dress that was the last two beers but milk chocolate and coffee mixing together ( Mocha, yes? ). It quickly loses itself to the atmosphere that is my apartment and leaves not even a skin behind. As I pick the glass up, the disturbance generates that ring of mocha on the perimeter to define just where the glass is. I wish I could tell if bubbles are flowing up within the murky depths of this beverage, but it is jet black... oil slick black.

The smell is amazing. Its reminiscent of many other stouts and screams aging in some type of way. My tasting partner says whiskey, I say bourbon barrels. Its so sweet that its almost nauseating but it stops right before it goes over the line. Earthy undertones may balance this from causing me to find it over attenuated. Bitter chocolates perform the careful waltz that is an imperial stout with charred grains. I thought in the beginning I caught vanilla, but alas it was a fleeting dream as I can't find it anywhere again.

Flavor Profile
I realize I am a goofy taster after I told my tasting partner to mimic me today. First, I took a sip and let it rush past my tongue and into my belly. Pow! Burnt grains and a smokiness that is MILES above what I was expecting.

With that in mind, the simple sip and wash down over the tongue leaves me convulsing in joy at how great this is. I find this to be my favorite smoky texture of any beer thus far in my admittedly small tasting experience. Now, the next taste I do is to take a decent sip and perform a figure eight with my tongue. Allowing this beer to linger in a rave like atmosphere of my mouth brought out two distinct flavors. The first was what I imagine burnt grains taste like. Its not the smoky nature of before, but possibly what happens when the smoky flavor particles saturate their respective receptors and move on to different pastures. Its a creamy brother to burnt grains. As the liquid bends around my mouth milk chocolate jumps inwards from my cheeks and glomps my tongue. It surprises me and causes me to literally exclaim "Mmmm!"

The finish of this beer is driven by the haze of smog roaming in the body. It finds its way into my oral membranes and hides from all degradation. It performs the buddy system of yesteryear with chocolate, however. At first you can revel in that fantastic smokiness, but as it is peeled away to move onward chocolate peeks its head out. It is very small and only momentary before the pair is whip lashed away leaving me with a quick stab of bitterness. As that bitterness, I can only believe it to be the alcohol doing a second walk through, fades I find myself dying for another sip to relive these flavors. It is a vicious cycle of undeniable joy followed by endless longing.

Oral Sensations
I find this beer to be a conundrum. If I'm not careful, I can lick my lips and find the lingering flavors of it without even noticing it sticking to my lips. When I sip it and let my tongue explore its hidden natures, I find it to be slightly under what I want for its body. I want it to be thicker, almost more syrupy. I imagine that with this body it can't possibly display the coating capabilities that it does. It is impossible for it to hang around as it does. It is impossible for it to leave a residue on my lips. It is impossible for it to give resistance to my efforts. And yet.. it does. It could be a touch heavier, but maybe it doesn't even need to be and I'm just searching for some error here. I noticed an interesting shock, literal one, this beer gave me. When I pressed some of the fluid to the soft palate of my mouth I felt the stab of alcohol to make me jump as if it scared me. Of course, it is gone and impossible to replicate exactly, but sometimes I find the alcohol in the most interesting of ways. There is no carbonation, no fizzy nature, no bubbles to speak of when drinking this unless I swish it around vigorously. Even than, that probably isn't carbonation but my own air bubble generation.

Hot damn! This beer was the most fun I've had with this hobby as to date. It is delicious, it is intriguing, and it is not overpowering. I would drink this again in a heartbeat. Hell, I'm probably going to go looking for more of this if I can.

It has that pleasant generation of a 'stomach furnace' as I like to put it. Even the faults I can find are probably strengths to others. I almost want to proclaim this beer my favorite beer. I thought this was bourbon aged, but I can't find enough of it for it to be anything recently aged.

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Photo of redearth329
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites. Poured from a growler into a tall tumbler at 40 degrees.

A - Impenetrably black. Two fingers of dense, light brown head that quickly disappeared. Not really any lace sticking around to speak of.

S- Dark chocolate malt notes, a bit of coffee perhaps. After that some dark fruit notes; plum, mostly, also some black cherry. Just a bit of heat from the alcohol, but you have to be looking for it.

T- Really rich and well-balanced. Chocolate is present, but sweetness is matched by roasty bitterness. The alcohol content is not obvious.

M- Full bodied with very light carbonation. A bit of lingering astringent quality from the roasted malt bitterness.

As a side note, this beer cellars very well. I once kept some Brooklyn BCS for a year, and it was really mellow after that time and the fruit (plum, black cherry, etc.) notes really gained in complexity. The restaurant I where I was working at the time served a 3-year aged BCS which was even more amazing. It could easily go longer in the right conditions. If you're disciplined enough not to drink it all, it's definitely worth trying to cellar it for a while.

Pair it with a slice of New York Cheesecake.

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Photo of jedtheavenger
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11-12 winter bottle into a pint glass.

A--Black. That's an obvious one. Pours about a half-inch tan head.

S--Chocolate, hazelnut, coffee. Aroma is full and rich. It's one of those beers where you try to pick apart the complexities, and all of a sudden find yourself sipping on it.

T--heavy roasted malts, coffee, burnt sugar, and red wine. The alcohol is fairly subtle.

M--not as viscous as other Russian Imperials, but still has a pleasantly thick/syrupy consistency. Think coffee with chocolate syrup.

Overall: This one's a sipper, folks. There's nothing more perfect than sitting at home on a cold night with a boozy stout like this. In my mind, this is the quintessential RIS.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a jet black color with a fluffy, brown head. The head fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer smells strongly of burnt malts. It has a sweet caramel aroma. I can smell some bittersweet chocolate also. A slight coffee aroma is present. If I look deep enough, I can ever so slightly smell the alcohol.

Wow. This beer is so smooth. It tastes of chocolate up front. Behind that I get a slight coffee flavor. It has a sweet calty flavor also. It also tastes of dark fruits. Plumbs, and raisins. It has a slight alcohol like taste also.

This beer goes down very smoothly, leaving a bitersweet chocolate aftertaste on my palate. It is low in carbonation, but perfect for the style.

This beer might make a good session beer, if you could watch out for the 10.5% ABV. It is so smooth, and the flavor is not overly agressive.

Overall: This is the Winter 05-06 release. Thanks to HimerMan for hooking me up. He also sent me the 03-04, and the 04-05 releases. I will be reviewing those as well, to see how this beer ages. I really liked this one, so I have high hopes.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerMasterD for this brew!

A- Pours a solid jet black with a nice 1 finger light brown head that's insanely fluffy and leaves some nice lacing around the glass.

S- Sweet roasted nose with a great chocolate background that combines with an almost wood, vanilla notes and slight alcohol.

T- Dark roasted malts and barley with a great almost chalky bittersweet dark chocolate flavor in the background. Little alcohol sting in the finish that creates a decent fullness in the body.

M- Full bodied with lower carbonation and a decent bitter dryness in the finish.

Love this beer, it's so delicious and so well balanced. Brooklyn really knew what they were doing with this one.


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Photo of Mateer
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Presentation: From a 12 oz long neck from a 4 pack with date. Says the 2014-2015 season.

Appearance: Like it I can't even see through it when I hold it up to a light. Maybe a little brown. Superb lacing that remains in it's place. Moderate carbonation is present but it's hard to see because of the black.

Smell: Coffee and yeast, fresh bread like smell.

Taste: Dark robust coffee, dark bitter chocolate, burnt malt undertones, some sweetness (that is thankfully fleeting), and then hops are present towards the end to complement the coffee and dark chocolate.

Overall: This is one of my favorite stouts. High ABV with a prefect pairing of chocolate and coffee. A lot of times these double stouts or high ABV stouts have a sickly sweet taste and aftertaste that prevails. This one avoids that brewing mistake and gives you what you want from a stout...something to get through the frigid cold of winter. I highly recommend this brew!

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, even though a seasonal brew, I was able to obtain at the end of May. Brewed in the 03-04 season. I pulled a recommendation from the Brother's top 50 and went to one of my favorite brew stores to purchase. This was the only one available on my list.

Pours the blackest, darkest beer I have yet to see. Even when held up to the light, it remains dark and there is no seeing through it. Like oil from the can. A nice frothy, light brown head forms at the top, about two fingers, but dissipates quickly. Leaves trace amounts of lace that really cling to the glass.

The aroma is definitely malty and chocolate flavored. It has a wine-like aroma also. The taste is fabulous at first tilt of the glass towards the mouth. The nose gets a hint of the malty aroma first and then the taste kicks in as soon as it hits the mouth. Malty, bitter chocolate flavor fills the mouth. Even with the high ABV, there is no distinct alcohol flavor, a salute to the brewer goes out.

Once swallowed, there is left a nice bitter aftertaste that is really subtle yet distinctive. This is a fantastic and extremely good Stout. I will buy again and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of yen157
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'02-'03: I've waited months for this to come out. Finally, it's here. Available from October through March, this is a real treat if it's available in your area. This beer poured ink black with a nearly cardboard-brown head. It smelled of chocolate, burnt grains, malt, and strangely enough, strawberries. As for flavors, it had a charcoal (probably from black patent malt), chocolate, malt, and alcohol. It had a burnt toast / charcoal aftertaste. The bitterness from the hops combined well with the bitter and slightly sour taste from the blackened grains. Excellent! Once again, this beer will top my list for the coming months.

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Photo of malcontent
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06-07 version

Foreboding black mass of a body with a lush tan head. Even after the head has died down, tantalizing lacing lingers.

Obvious chocolate scent isn’t as aggressive as one might imagine. Tobacco and unexpected hop scent blend with a creamy, lactic quality in the nose. There is an alcohol quality that, while usually something I enjoy in a strong beer, takes away from the aroma here…barely.

Wow! Richer (don’t read “better”) than the 05-06. Luxurious cocoa taste with hints of caramel, marshmallow, coffee and smoke. Decadent.

Slight alcohol feel on the tip of the tongue is all that holds the mouthfeel back from perfection. It is creamy, thick and holds on to the palate which is great as the flavors are outstanding. While I couldn’t drink more than two (I’m stopping at one) the drinkablility for the style is phenomenal. A treat I look forward to every year.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Underrated brew, excellent pour. Amazing color and flavor. I love Choclate Stouts in general and this one is superb. Choc flavor is just right, not overpowering.

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Photo of dgallina
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle of Winter '05-'06 vintage. Sampled 11/06/2005.

Poured an almost purple solid black. Very small tan head, but lots of thick and sticky lace. Deep chocolate and toasted malt aroma with an undercurrent of spicy alcohol and dark fruits. Stupendous flavor! Chewy sweet malts lead into tasty burnt toast and dark-roasted coffee with nicely drying and long-lasting toasted bread and warming alcohol finish. Hugely creamy and thick viscous body that somehow retains decent carbonation.

An absolutely superb imperial stout.

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Photo of dhchatfield
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review of this style of beer. 05/06, received as part of Birthday BIF (1), thanks to froggyfrog.

Poured at cellar temperature into my Sweetwater pint glass.

A - Black, pitch black. Like used motor oil. Like octopus ink. Like the absence of light. Really dark. Am I getting through to you?
Very little head. What little there was was a caramel brown.

S - Wow! No mystery with this one. C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. The only other aroma I caught at first was a whiff of bourbon. As the glass lowers, a dark plum/cherry/molasses melange arises.

T - See the caps above. Also a strong coffee presence. The alcohol is there as well, to me more in the stomach than in the mouth or nose.

M - Smooth and creamy, we like smooth and creamy. Just enough bitterness to make you want to get more liquid on your tongue.

D - As a novice to this style, I'm not certain what makes a stout drinkable. As a lover of this particular beer however, there is no mystery whatsover.

An excellent beer. It's the coldest night of the year so far here in Northern Illinois. I have a nice fire going, it was my day off, and this is one fine way to spend the evening. I am looking forward to a Winter filled with beers of this style. I only hope I can match the impression this one has made on me.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a bottle of Victory's Storm King Stout in hand when an employee of the local beer shop approached and stated that while my choice was good, Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout was really good this year. I took his advice, and, while I still have yet to try Victory's offering, I'm ecstatic over this beer.

It pours like so many in its style: black and thick. Not as thick as some, but thick. A thin head of tan bubbles formed, but they quickly dissipated and were replaced by a lace around the edge. The aroma is wonderful; it's full of malts, coffee, and chocolate, with hints of sticky dried fruit.

The taste is something to behold. It commences with a smokiness combined with dark, bittersweet chocolate. A nice espresso hue fills the middle, and the finish is slightly hoppy with hints of pine. The sweet fruitiness was only detectable by me after the beer had warmed considerably. All variations on the flavor during its time in the glass were appreciated.

I like the mouthfeel. It's full, but not too full, a little sticky, and the aftertaste–which is mainly of coffee and dark chocolate with some bitterness–lingers for quite some time. This is great beer, and a great model of the style. Cheers to Brooklyn Brewery!

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Photo of markgugs
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006/07 vintage, poured from 12oz. bottle into a tulip snifter (consumed 2/12/08)

A: If you were submerged in a vat of this beer, I imagine it'd be akin to being blind, that's how dark this is. Pours like motor oil, with slight ruby edges, just about 100% opaque. A lovely 2-finger dark beige head rises up and begins to immediately leave decent lacing.

S: Smells like a steaming cup of hot chocolate, only it's cold. I detect sweet fig newtons, some roasted breads, plums & dates, and of course, rich chocolate and cocoa! As it warms, it takes on some minor sherry-like aromas as well.

T/M: Bam! Rich, rich chocolate and cocoa right up front, I'm talking huge, chunky chocolate flavors, rich like truffles. The roasted malts are right in your face, and as the beer warms, the dark fruits - raspberries & cherries mostly - begin to develop. An intoxicating bittersweet cocoa finishes things up. This beer is thick, viscous and chewy, with just the right amount of carbonation, just like a brilliant RIS should be.

D: This beer is awesome x 1,000. It's actually too easy to drink, a dangerous sign given the 10+% ABV. Go easy (but get some)!

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally I've developed a taste for this beer. I've got the 00-01 season and it is the most enormous beer I've ever had. I'd imagine that there are not too many beers that rival this as far as thickness and maltiness is concerned. It appears as if you're pouring black paint into a pint glass. It is so unbelievably thick. The smell of dark roasted malts and raisins is the best part of this beer for me although the taste is pretty bomb too. Similar malt and raisin notes here with a nice hop balance and hints of dark chocolate. Aftertaste will leave you wanting to drink three or four more of these, brush your teeth, and then pass out from the high ABV, which I'm about to do right now. This is the ultimate beer for a cold winter night.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,658 ratings.
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